Pro12: Ospreys 52-19 Newport Gwent Dragons

 

Ospreys (24) 52

  • Tries: Fotuali'i, Habberfield, Beck, Isaacs, Biggar, Arhip, Tipuric
  • Cons: Biggar 5, M Morgan 2
  • Pens : Biggar

Dragons (6) 19

  • Tries: D Evans, Faletau
  • Pens : S Jones 3

The Ospreys out-classed Welsh Pro12 rivals Newport Gwent Dragons in a seven-tries-to-two rout at the Liberty Stadium.

Kahn Fotuali'i, Tom Habberfield, and Ashley Beck went over before the break.

Tom Isaacs secured the hosts' bonus point before Dan Evans went over for the visitors.

Ospreys Dan Biggar, Moldovan Dmitri Arhip and Justin Tipuric went over with Toby Faletau replying while Biggar provided 13 kicked points.

Lock Jones ignores Lions question

When Wales fly-half Biggar left, Matthew Morgan entered the fray to kick the conversions for Arhip & Tipuric's tries.

Dan Lydiate returned following six-month absence with a broken ankle to rekindle his bid to make the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour on the Dragons' flank.

The presence of a host of Wales' Six Nations winners may have been viewed ahead of the clash as giving the hosts a huge advantage over Welsh rugby's regional strugglers.

But the spark that gave the Ospreys the early momentum came from an altogether different source - Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i.

The half-back, who joins Northampton at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, went over for a classy early score.

And his cross-field run from a line-out gave centre Beck the chance to ghost through for the Ospreys' third try.

Lydiate happy with Dragons return

In between wing Habberfield, who has also played at scrum-half, displayed his own poise and pace to score.

The Dragons' only first-half points came from fly-half Steffan Jones and by the time the visitors mustered any significant further response, the Ospreys had already secured a four-try bonus point.

Lydiate - as planned by the Dragons - did not appear for the second-half on the Dragons blindside.

And he could only watch from the side-lines as the Ospreys' potent attacking threat gave wing Isaacs the chance to run clear with Fotuali'i providing the final pass.

Full-back Evans was rewarded for his efforts in an out-classed side by providing brief respite for the Dragons with a well-worked try.

A sweeping attack in which Beck went close on the right before the Ospreys switched their focus back across field ended with Biggar going over unopposed.

Another of Wales' Six Nations stars and Lions hopefuls, Faletau, snapped up loose possession to burst clear and slide over for the Dragons' second try.

Replacement prop Arhip emerged from a driving maul to claim his first Ospreys try and Tipuric rounded off a memorable week by profiting from a cross kick to run clear.

TEAMS

Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Tom Habberfield, Jonathan Spratt, Ashley Beck, Tom Isaacs; Dan Biggar Kahn Fotuali'i; Ryan Bevington, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (Capt), Ian Evans, James King, Justin Tipuric, Jonathan Thomas.

Replacements: Ben John for Habberfield (66), Matthew Morgan for Biggar (71), Rhys Webb for Fotuali'i (64), Duncan Jones for Bevington (70), Scott Baldwin for Hibbard (64), Dmitri Arhip for Adam Jones (52), George Stowers for A W Jones (70), Lloyd Peers for Evans (52).

Sin Bin: Arhip (78).

Dragons: Dan Evans; Adam Hughes, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Ross Wardle; Steffan Jones, Wayne Evans; Owen Evans, Sam Parry, Nathan Buck, Andrew Coombs, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans (c).

Replacements: Jonathan Evans for W Evans (52), Hugh Gustafson for Parry (48), Toby Faletau for L Evans (27).

Not Used: Phil Price, Dan Way, Ian Nimmo, Will Harries, Hallam Amos.

Att: 9,935

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)

Assistant Referees: Ian Davies, Wayne Davies (both WRU)

Citing Commissioner: Jeff Mark (WRU)

TMO: Gareth Simmonds (WRU)